by Jarrod C. Grasso, RCE, CEO, New Jersey Association of REALTORS®
Inside and outside the office, the hyper-connected existence that we now all know to be normal has proven to have its ups and downs. As leaders, it’s up to us to develop ways to use technology in a positive, thoughtful way that positions our associations to stand out among the crowd and help us all get back in sync.
As nonprofit associations, we are uniquely composed of staff, committee chairs, committee members, leadership and—most importantly—our general membership. The need for all of these key groups to communicate easily and often is paramount to the success of our individual associations.
At the New Jersey Association of REALTORS®, we decided to embrace technology across the board this year to keep our staff, committees, and members knowledgeable and engaged.
Collaborative project management
Our incoming leadership wanted a way for committee chairs, vice chairs, and local board leadership teams to communicate effectively. Basecamp (basecamp.com) is a collaborative online environment that serves as a powerful project management tool. Members can create discussions, generate to-do lists, and share files and calendars. The space can be broken down by project or group and is accessible from any web browser, and from iOS and Android devices.
Easier meeting minutes
Committee meetings serve as the brain trusts for the progression of each respective arm of our association. After a committee meets, the attending division officer, chair, or vice chair submits an online meeting minutes form through Wufoo (wufoo.com). Leadership receives the minutes via e-mail so they can stay abreast of the many moving parts of the association.
Online committee documents
A big hurdle we overcame last year was the cumbersome dissemination of important documents to committee members. When a member was part of a committee, they used to be e-mailed all of the corresponding documentation such as agendas, minutes, and items to be reviewed for discussion. E-mail proved to be too inconsistent and unreliable, as well as inconvenient. As a result, we had our technology department create a back-end system on our website that allows staff to upload necessary documents for committee meetings and send customizable notifications to members when new resources are added. Since it is fed from our customer relationship management platform, committee rosters are always current.
These are just some of the platforms we’ve started using at the association to make it easier for everyone to work on association-related business. What have you implemented lately?